Factor 5 – Nutrition & Your Communication
This is the fifth part of our 5-part Series on 5 factors That Will impact Your Communication Effectiveness.
The final instalment of our 5 part series on factors that effect your communication is NUTRITION.
At this point you’re probably wondering what effect nutrition has on our ability to communicate? Well, to identify this we need to take a bit of a step back.
In order for us to effectively communicate and put our best foot forward we need to be able to ensure our body is functioning well. Nutrition can have an impact on all 5 of the factors we have previously addressed – Practice, mindset, sleep and stress, and if not addressed can negatively influence one – if not all – of these factors.
Our brains use a lot of energy. Particularly when learning a language, or preparing for an important interview, and just generally throughout the day to maintain function. To refuel the brain, food is vital to replenish us with all the important nutrients we need. You can’t expect a car to drive correctly with out fuel, or a plant to grow effectively without soil, so how can we expect our brains to work at their maximum potential without FOOD!
When you attend sessions at Voice Science, you are learning new skills to put into practice to assist in communication. In order to learn a new skill your brain needs to be able to concentrate well.
But, HOW HARD IS IT TO CONCENTRATE WHEN YOU ARE HUNGRY! Almost impossible, right!? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there!
But why does this occur? Research by Gómez-Pinilla (2008) has shown that this is because of the role our gut hormones have in sending messages to the brain. When eating, our gut releases hormones to the brain for a whole range of reasons – including to tell us when we are full, or what nutrients our body requires.
Another factor impacting on this is the actual food we eat due to the nutritional content in it. Our body requires certain vitamins and minerals to function effectively. Gómez-Pinilla (2008) report that a deficiency in omega – fatty acids resulted in impaired learning and memory in rodents and other studies have shown that diets with a high amount of trans and saturated fats can negatively affect cognition.
So what are some key vitamins and minerals that can assist in maintaining a healthy brain, ripe for communication? Glad you asked!
- B vitamins (including but not limited to thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and pyridoxine) – found in meats, grains, dairy products, green leafy vegetables, poultry, mushrooms, potatoes, broccoli, mushrooms, avocados, tomatoes, watermelons,
- Choline – found in milk, eggs, salmon,
- Vitamin E – found in leafy green vegetables, whole grains, nuts
- Calcium – found in Dairy products, tofu, sardines, salmon, some leafy green vegetables
- Iron – found in red meat, poultry, fruits, green vegetables
Feeling motivated to up your nutritional game but don’t know where to start?!
Don’t worry, we’ve got you! The Voice Science team have popped together below a few of our favourite nutritional recipes that are sure have you craving more! We are not nutritionists or dietitians but we do love our food. Here are 3 recipes that our team count on for a nice fresh energy kick!
Emily’s favourite lettuce to use in this zesty salad is red radicchio lettuce due to its slightly bitter taste which is a nice contrast to the sweetness of the oranges.
Mixed in with a little Bibb lettuce, and this will be the perfect winter salad with lots of immune boosting components.
Vitamin C central!
Sarah doesn’t really have a sweet tooth despite loading our offices with Lindt balls…
But, that being said the mix of chocolate and mint gets her every time.
This is a perfect snack for work to keep her buzzing and humming between clients. A good source of energy, especially at 3pm!
This smoothie is super quick and easy and the best part is you can mix in and out any other fruits that you may have available!
Don’t feel like you have to stick to these berries – choose what you prefer and get blending!
Vitamins and Minerals- have a read of some recommended vitamins and Minerals from Harvard Health
Did you miss the first parts of this series?
Head to the following links to read the other parts of this series:
7 Speech Pathology Practice Tips for Adults
How A Growth Mindset Can Impact On Learning A New Skill
Nerves, Anxiety, Stress And Your Communication
If you feel you have poor nutrition or food intake, consult with your GP or a Dietitian. Dietitians are accredited professionals and you can find qualified, independent practitioners here.
Modifying your communication takes time and practice. Many speakers opt to consult with a Speech Pathologist to seek assistance in goal based communication progress with methods based on research. Voice Science™ treats from Melbourne to Stuttgart, Zurich, Mannheim, London … wherever you are via our global online service. We also offer face to face consultation via our Melbourne Collins St clinic. Read more about our Services HERE.